Africa Food Guide - food on table

Many of the African dishes we enjoyed along the way surprised us. So delicious, with many layers and depth of flavour!

Let’s go! Our African Food Guide covering the continent’s Top 10 Best Food Countries

1) Ethiopia

best countries for food Ethiopia
Best country for food in Africa – Ethiopia

Ethiopian cuisine is a colourful and flavourful culinary tradition as diverse as the country’s many different cultures and regions. It is characterised by its use of spices and herbs, including berbere (a fiery red pepper blend), mitmita (a spicy mix of chilli peppers), and niter kibbeh (a clarified butter infused with spices).

One of the unique aspects of Ethiopian cuisine is the use of injera, a spongy sourdough flatbread made from teff flour that serves as both a plate and utensil. Diners tear off pieces of injera and use them to scoop up various stews, curries, and salads.

We love Ethiopian cuisine. In fact, we wrote an entire post about 15 Ethiopian dishes you need to try!

We tasted some of the best Ethiopian food during our amazing 2 days trip to Lalibela, the fascinating city with underground rock-hewn churches.

If you haven’t tried it yet, search for ‘Africa food near me’ in your area – perhaps there’s an Ethiopian restaurant in your neighbourhood that you were unaware of.

Popular Ethiopian dishes include:

  • Doro Wat: A spicy chicken stew made with onions, berbere, and other spices. It is typically served with injera and sometimes topped with a boiled egg.
  • Tibs: A stir-fry dish made with marinated beef or lamb, onions, peppers, and spices. It is often served with injera or rice and can be made mild or spicy, depending on personal preference.

RELATED POST – A Day Trip to Simien Mountains, Ethiopia

2) Morocco

African Food Guide - Moroccan Food
African Food Guide – Moroccan cuisine is fantastic!

Moroccan food is a mouthwatering blend of flavours and spices, influenced by various cultures throughout history. It all began with the Berbers, the original inhabitants of Morocco, who brought their traditions of tagine and couscous to the table.

Later, the Arabs introduced a whole new world of spices and cooking techniques, like roasting and grilling. They also brought tea to Morocco, and today, a steaming cup of mint tea is a staple in Moroccan culture.

The Mediterranean influence also plays a big role in Moroccan cuisine, with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and olives making their way into many dishes. Andalusian cuisine, which was brought by the Moors fleeing the Spanish Inquisition, added dried fruits and almonds to the mix.

The French also had a significant influence on Moroccan cuisine, with pastries like croissants and techniques like braising and poaching making their way into Moroccan cooking.

Popular Moroccan dishes include:

  • Tagine (a slow-cooked stew made with meat or vegetables).
  • Couscous (a grain dish often served with meat and vegetables).
  • Harira (a spicy soup made with chickpeas and lentils).

To learn more about this fascinating cuisine, read our Morocco Food Guide which features the most popular dishes to try.

RELATED POST – What To Eat in Marrakech (and What to Avoid)

3) Nigeria

African Food Guide - Nigerian Food
African Food Guide – Nigerian Jollof Rice is very popular

Nigerian cuisine is a delicious and diverse collection of dishes from the vast West African nation of Nigeria. It is known for its bold flavours, use of spices, and variety of ingredients, which are influenced by the country’s many different ethnic groups.

One of the most notable elements of Nigerian cuisine is palm oil, a red-coloured oil made from the fruit of the African oil palm tree, which gives many dishes their distinctive colour and flavour.

Two of the most popular Nigerian dishes are:

  • Jollof Rice: This is a flavourful and spicy one-pot rice dish made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and various spices. It’s usually served with fried plantains, grilled chicken, or beef.
  • Egusi Soup: A rich and hearty soup made with melon seeds, vegetables, and spices, usually eaten with fufu, a starchy dough made from cassava, yams, or plantains, which is used to scoop up the soup.

Our Africa Food Map covers the most popular African food eaten in 54 nations.

4) South Africa

African Food Guide - South African Food
African Food Guide – A braai is a BBQ in South Africa

South African cuisine is a delicious fusion of African, European, and Asian influences, reflecting the country’s diverse history and culture. 

The cuisine features a wide variety of ingredients, from game meats and seafood to exotic fruits and vegetables, and is known for its big flavours and spicy dishes.

One of the unique aspects of South African cuisine is a braai, a traditional South African barbecue method that involves grilling meat over an open flame.

This cooking style is a cornerstone of South African culture and is often enjoyed with friends and family.

Popular South African dishes include:

  • Bobotie: A savoury pie made with spiced ground meat, dried fruit, and a custard topping. It is typically served with yellow rice, chutney, and sliced bananas.
  • Bunny Chow: A hearty and tasty curry dish served inside a hollowed-out loaf of bread. It originated in the Indian community in Durban and is now a popular street food throughout South Africa.

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5) Tunisia

Itinerary for Tunisia - Lunch in Sousse
Africa Food Guide – Tunisian Cuisine is fantastic!

Tunisian cuisine is a delicious and vibrant culinary tradition that combines North African, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavours. It is defined by its use of spices and herbs, including harissa (a fiery red pepper paste), cumin, and coriander.

The Tunisians serve harissa with everything!

Fresh seafood, chicken, and lamb are the main proteins to prepare delicious Tunisian cuisine, and lots of fresh vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and zucchini.

Street food in Tunisia is easy to find across the country, always affordable and quick to pick up when travelling from place to place.

Two of the most famous Tunisian dishes are:

  • Couscous: A staple dish made from semolina grains that are steamed and then served with vegetables, meat, or fish in a flavorful broth. It is often served on Fridays, the Muslim holy day, and is considered a symbol of unity and generosity.
  • Brik: A fried pastry filled with a variety of savoury ingredients, such as egg, tuna, or cheese, and flavoured with herbs and spices. It is often served as an appetiser or street food and is a delicious and crispy treat. 

We spend many weeks independently exploring Tunisia, it’s such an underrated country.

Read our 10 Best Tips for Travellers in Tunisia and if you’d like to follow our busy itinerary, this is our complete 14 Days Itinerary for travelling in Tunisia. 

Whatever happens, don’t miss a visit to El Jem, and here’s how to get there via public transport.

6) Mozambique

Beans rice Mozambique African food map

Mozambican cuisine is a delicious fusion of African, Portuguese, and Indian flavours that reflects the country’s colonial history and diverse cultural influences. 

It features a wide variety of seafood, spices, and tropical fruits, and is known for its daring flavours and use of coconut milk and peanuts.

One of the most delicious aspects of Mozambican cuisine is the use of peri-peri sauce, a spicy chilli sauce made from African bird’s eye chillies, garlic, and lemon juice. This fiery condiment is a popular addition to many dishes and can be adjusted to suit different levels of heat.

Mozambique is a beautiful African country, and we recommend you check out the small beach town of Tofo. Here is our recommendation on the best place to stay in Tofo, Mozambique for a comfortable and memorable stay.

Popular Mozambican dishes include:

  • Piri-Piri Chicken: A spicy, succulent, grilled chicken dish marinated in peri-peri sauce and served with vegetables and rice. It is a staple of Mozambican cuisine and is enjoyed throughout the country.
  • Matapa: A delicious and creamy stew made with cassava leaves, peanuts, and coconut milk. It is often served with rice or bread and is a popular comfort food in Mozambique.

7) Egypt

African Food Guide - Egyptian Food
African Food Guide – Egyptian food is full of flavour!

Egyptian cuisine is a flavoursome and ancient culinary tradition that reflects the country’s long history and diverse influences.

Expect fresh herbs and spices, such as cumin, coriander, and mint to feature heavily in this outstanding cuisine, as well as its reliance on grains and legumes, such as rice and lentils.

One of the tastiest aspects of Egyptian cuisine is the use of fava beans, which are a staple ingredient in many dishes, including breakfast foods and street food snacks.

Two of the most famous Egyptian dishes are:

  • Koshari: A hearty and filling dish made with rice, lentils, and macaroni, topped with tomato sauce and fried onions. It is a popular street food and comfort food in Egypt and is enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
  • Ful Medames: A traditional breakfast dish made with fava beans, garlic, lemon juice, and spices. It is often served with bread or eggs and is a delicious and nutritious way to start the day. This dish is also popular in Syrian cuisine and Lebanese foods that you should try too.

RELATED POST –10 Amazing Dishes to Try in EGYPT

8) Algeria

food of algeria couscous
Couscous is quintessential food of Algeria

The food of Algeria is known for its rich and diverse tastes, with a mix of spicy, savoury, and sweet flavours. Algerian cuisine is influenced by various cultures, including Berber, Arabic, French, and Spanish, resulting in a unique fusion of flavours and ingredients.

One of the most delicious aspects of Algerian cuisine is using couscous, a small, granular pasta made from semolina wheat. It is a staple ingredient in many dishes and is often served with meat or vegetables.

Two popular Algerian dishes include:

  • Chakhchoukha: A delicious and hearty dish made with torn-up pieces of semolina bread that are steamed and then served with a spicy tomato-based sauce and a range of vegetables and meats. It is a popular comfort food in Algeria and is often served during festivals and celebrations.
  • Merguez: A spicy and flavorful sausage made with lamb or beef and a range of herbs and spices, such as cumin and paprika. It is a popular street food in Algeria and is usually served with bread and harissa, a fiery red pepper paste.

Planning a trip to Algeria? Read these 13 essential things to know before you go. We recommend visiting these 8 Amazing places to visit in Algeria and a firm favourite of ours was the beautiful city of Oran.

Read more in our Travel Guide to Oran – Best things to see and do.

9) Madagascar

street food madagascar
Eating street food in Ile Sainte-Marie.

African, Asian, and European cultures influence Madagascan cuisine. The island’s unique biodiversity, with its vast array of fruits, vegetables, and spices, is a key feature of Madagascan cuisine. The cuisine is also characterised by its use of locally-sourced ingredients, such as rice, cassava, seafood, and meats like zebu and pork.

One of the most remarkable things about Madagascan cuisine is the use of unique and aromatic spices, such as vanilla, clove, and cinnamon. 

Madagascar is known for producing some of the world’s finest vanilla, and it is used in many of the country’s popular dishes.

Follow in our footsteps and explore this adventurous country. Here’s our perfect Itinerary for Madagascar in two weeks.

Two Madagascan dishes to try include:

  • Ravitoto: A traditional dish made with pork and cassava leaves. The pork is stewed until tender and mixed with the leaves, which are boiled until soft. It is often served with rice and is a staple dish in the highlands region of Madagascar.
  • Romazava: A flavourful beef stew made with various vegetables and served with rice. The stew is seasoned with garlic, ginger, and onion, often cooked with tamarind leaves or lemon juice to give it a tangy flavour. 

10) Sao Tome & Principe

where to stay in sao tome flag marker rach and marty
We loved our visit to Sao Tome – and the fresh cuisine was a highlight for us!

Sao Tome and Principe cuisine is a fusion of African, Portuguese, and Brazilian influences that reflects the country’s colonial history and cultural heritage. 

Fresh seafood, tropical fruits, vegetables, and spices are cleverly crafted to create this fantastic cuisine. Its simplicity and freshness set it aside from many other cuisines in this African food guide.

One of the most notable things about Sao Tome and Principe cuisine is the use of cocoa, a major export and a key ingredient in many dishes and desserts. 

This country is very lush and green and very enjoyable to travel. Check out these 10 Reasons to visit Sao Tome and Principe and some more ideas about what to do and where to stay to help plan your visit.

Popular Sao Tome and Principe dishes include:

  • Calulu: A dish made with fish or chicken, okra, palm oil, and spices, and is typically served with rice.
  • Cuscuz: A sweet and savoury dish made with cornmeal, coconut, and palm oil, and is often served with fish or meat. The dish is a popular breakfast food in Sao Tome and Principe and is also served as a snack or dessert. The addition of cocoa powder gives the dish a unique flavour.

That’s our African food list of the top 10 cuisines in Africa. Would you agree? What Africa food favourite would you add to our African Food Guide?

Practical Information about Travel in Africa

We’ve got several comprehensive blogs about travelling in Africa – what a massive continent this is! Have you ever wondered, how many countries in Africa are there? 54 or 55? We cover them in depth in our Ultimate Africa Bucket List.

If you need a little help with packing for Africa, we’ve got you covered! Our Complete Packing List for Africa has all of the essentials for your adventures.

And before you go, it’s worth reading these 17 ESSENTIAL Things to know before travelling to West Africa. 

We spent the majority of 2019 travelling overland through many countries across Africa, what a journey it was! Read more about it all in a summary of our overland adventures in West Africa.

Be sure to try these 8 Popular West African Dishes and take a look at our detailed Food Map of Africa.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Africa. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for travel in Africa here.

Finally, check out our AFRICA Page for detailed blogs about individual countries.

If you’re searching for a place to find our best advice, tips, and suggestions on travel gear and products we use and love, then our Travel Resources Page is for you.